For this month’s Bandcamp Friday, we hit up creatives in Tanzania to find out who their top Black Bandcamp discoveries and picks of the month are.
I’m an artist, producer, and model from Niger that grew up in Tanzania.
Fatoumata Diawara – Makoun Oumou
From the first few guitar notes Fatoumata perfectly set’s the tone of this buttery smooth song. Her vocals continue to enhance the experience by introducing emotion and soul to the instrumental. The quality of production on this song makes it easily digestible, and it can quickly put the listener in a trance.
Salif Keita – Barayé
On this song the golden voice of Africa continues to live up to his name by delivering a sound only he is capable of creating. Barayé is rich in instruments, each one contributing its own element to making Barayé the groovy, psychedelic experience that it is. Salif Keita’s voice effortlessly elevates the song by delivering pain through his vocal tone and delivery.
Wizkid – No stress
The great vibes of this song are immediately introduced from the very first chord. Once the percussion starts it’s almost impossible to resist wanting to get up and dance. This song is like an imaginary vehicle that takes me to the beach, with a silk shirt on catching a whine.
I am a Musician and Graffiti Artist from Tanzania. I create music for the unapologetically afro futuristic person of the 21 century.
To Li – Jojo Abot
Jojo Abot is an all time favorite of mine, not only is she creating amazing electronic and alternative music but she makes sure it is unmistakably African in the process and that is very admirable.
Diplomatic – OSHUN
I have chosen this track because it celebrates sisterhood by emphasizing our ally ship with each other while also paying tribute to Femi Kuti’s ‘Water Got No Enemy’ reimagined and modernized.
Sunny Duet ft. theMIND – No Name
I love this song, the overlapping melodies and harmonies make it feel so well rounded and creates what feels like an entire orchestra coexisting with Hip-hop . It is such a wonderful experience hearing storytelling made so smooth.
A non-binary, multidisciplinary artist working in Tanzania and Kenya. They work in the realms of 3D design, graphic design, sculpture, architecture and sound, creating work that aims to provoke their visitors into considering their daily realities.
Be Nice – Janice Iche & Fvzzkill
Somehow, I feel like Janice Iche brings the moods she expresses in her visual artwork into her music, because she creates such wonderful songs that seem to express both the joys and difficulties of just being. In this song in particular, I especially adore the contrast between the relatable lyrics and the production, how it’s an invitation to jam while also presenting seemingly aloof characters.
Dem Go Know – Bakhita
This was my favourite track from Bakhita’s new EP, CHAMOMILE:PYE. Lemi’s production on this song reminds me of vibes similar to those on Solange’s most recent releases, where it’s playful and such short goodness that you wish there was much more of it. Good thing is, Bakhita carries this funk all through her EP and I encourage you all to listen to the whole project.
Honey Bee – EA WAVE & Wanja Wahoro
This is one of my favourite tracks from last year, and an unexpectedly beautiful combination of Wanja Wahoro’s lyricism and EA Wave’s experimental production. ‘Honey Bee’ is part of a two part collaboration between the artists, and it’s the kind of song that instantly gives me a sense of hope and brightness. Whenever I put it on, I immediately imagine sunshine and sunflowers, and the bouncy production always immediately gets me off my feet.
Singer from Kiwalani, Dar es Salaam who has been making music across various genres for a decade. Currently making Singeli with my producer DJ Silla. Passionate about representing new emerging sounds from across Africa, especially Tanzania.
Jamaica Mnanda – Maskini Naye Tu
There is so much great music in Tanzania that doesn’t get repped enough. This track represents the authentic sound of Dar es Salaam. Jamaica Mnanda debut release in the distinctive Mchiriku style mixes complex rhythmic patterns, poetic lyrics and killer keyboards. The footwork/juke remixes of the track slap hard.
Siti Muharam – Nyuki
Recorded by the Great Grand Daughter of legendary Taarab singer Siti Binti Saad this is an example of the classical Taarab style. Everyone in Dar es Salaam grew up listening to modern Taarab and it’s great to hear the classical style being recorded again. This is music which embodies the Swahili Coast mixing Arabic and African influences.
Mzee wa Bwax – Mshamba Video Mste
Nyege Nyege Tapes was the first label to take Singeli outside of Tanzania. So as a Singeli artist this compilation has an important place in my heart. The sound of Mzee wa Bwax is an example of what Singeli sounded like at that time, raw, frenetic and fun.
A singer/songwriter, live performer and producer from Tanzania. I love telling stories through music and making stuff that moves me.
Jay Mitta – Tatizo Pesa
I stumbled upon Jay Mitta’s singeli track ‘Tatizo Pesa’ I love it so much as it’s very reminiscent of busy sunny Dar. That’s the type of music you hear when running around Dar Es Salaam’s streets.
Siti Muharam – Sikitiko
I love film and cinema. Before anything else I had wanted to become a filmmaker. And Siti Muharam’s ‘Sikitiko’ is very cinematic. Makes me want to plan a holiday trip to Zanzibar.
Abdu Ali – Fiyah
I also just stumbled upon Abdu Ali the avant garde electronic musician, well his music is quite odd. But very unapologetic. I would listen to ‘Fiyah’ before heading out the house just so I have my unapologetic demeanor on.
A truly multifaceted artist. The Tanzanian singer, songwriter, and creative director is becoming a leading voice amongst her peers in the realm of East African music. Her unique sensual sound and lyrical suave has solidified her as a feminist, Pan-African artist on the rise.
Nailah Hunter – Basin Bleu
I love Nialah hunter’s ‘Basin Bleu’. The intro transports me to a place where colors and textures are in abundance. It’s the cover art to be true. It makes me think of old photos of my mom and auntie. I feel at home but nostalgically far away at the same time. There are no words and so the song tells whatever story I want or need to at the time I listen. I’m grateful for this track.
Afriqua – Noir
I was drawn to ‘noir’ because of its name. I love the beautiful contrast (or perhaps the parallelism) between the sound of the song and the societal connotations of ‘noir’. The song is delicate, tender, smooth, and shy. The sound of the water is so calming and meditative. We often do not think of these things when we think of darkness. The song makes me want to find my inner peace, my noir.
Jamila Woods – Holy
Jamila’s song holy is special. It has inspired me to write music in the past and for that I will forever be grateful. She takes the cliche words “I’m not lonely , I’m alone ” and makes them totally refreshing with the following lyrics “I’m holy, on my own”. Accepting that we’re alone is doable, but accepting how powerful and great you are can be a difficult truth for many of us. I believe many of us live and die without this reaching this realization. Having her audience sing along, declaring aloneness and holiness simultaneously is powerful. She’s an amazing songwriter.
I am a Singer Songwriter, Musician, Performer, Artist, Composer, Designer, Authour, Cultural conservationist and Protagonist.
Zawose & Brook – Awuno Mganga Ndeje
Amazing sounds. The master of gogo sounds. I could listen to them all day. The sounds the instrument makes and plays. The vocals acrobats. It takes my body and my mind away in a good way.
International Orch Safari Sound – Marashi ya Pemba
This song brings back only the fun memories of the cloves seasons in Zanzibar Islands. Especially Pemba island, the minute you step on the land, you can smell the cloves. I am never tired of this song. I just enjoy it more and more every day. Marashi ya pemba – The perfume of Pemba.
Bi Kidude – Kijiti
I love this song because it says Zanzibar to me. The ocean, the tropical presence and amazing scale and music to indulge with. Sang in Swahili language. It is one of those songs that just shows just how important the Arts of music is education and promoting awareness to the community. I salute Bi Siti. Originally sung by Siti Binti Saad. The first female artist, recorded artist to record from Zanzibar. For the last 50 years, her legacy has been kept alive by the Legendary Bi Kidude. Now Bi Kidude has left the biggest hole in Zanzibar art and culture history and traditions. The master drummer with a voice of Powerfire. Kijiti is the name of a lady. It is a song about a young lady who was abused, murdered and then abandoned. The story goes to say that the one that found the body and reported it to the police is the one who got blamed for the offence, but clearly the person who did it got away to this day. Rumour has it the person who did the horrible acts was allowed to get away with it.